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Court of Appeals Reverses Lower Court Decision in Favor of TriMed, Inc. Patent Infringement Case

VALENCIA, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- TriMed, Inc., a Valencia, CA-based developer and manufacturer of orthopaedic fixation devices, has announced that the United States Court of Appeals has ruled in its favor and reversed a lower court's summary judgment in its patent infringement suit against defendant Stryker Corporation (Stryker). The appellate court found that Stryker's accused device contains "precisely the same structure" shown in TriMed's patent. The decision was announced January 29, 2008.

TriMed filed a patent infringement case against Stryker in early 2006 in the US District Court, Central District of California in Los Angeles. The suit claimed infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 5,931,839 ('839 patent), which protects the company's Radial Pin Plate and the Ulnar Pin Plate used for the distal radius (wrist) fractures. TriMed introduced the plates in 1995 for use in reducing distal radius fractures often without a need for a post-surgical cast. The plates are particularly suited for reducing fractures involving small bone fragments, intra-articular fractures, highly comminuted and/or osteoporatic bone conditions. Following the growing popularity of TriMed's Radial and Ulnar Pin Plates, Stryker introduced its Radial and Ulnar Column Plates in 2003.

In 2007, before the scheduled trial, Stryker's motion for summary judgment was granted by the district court, and was immediately appealed by TriMed. The January 2008 Appellate Court decision both reversing the earlier decision and sends the case back to the district court for a full trial on the merits. This also provides TriMed with a favorable patent interpretation ruling, which the district court must apply. The Appellate Court's decision includes the following legal ruling: "Locking a pin to the plate is simply not a requirement of TriMed's Patent language as claimed by Stryker. The (Patent) specification discloses an embodiment that has precisely the same structure that is found in the accused devices."

TriMed is seeking a permanent injunction of Stryker from further use or sale of its Radial and Ulnar Column Plates. In addition, the company also seeks monetary damages due to Stryker's infringement.

The case will likely proceed to trial in 2008.

About TriMed, Inc.:

TriMed, Inc., a leader in the advancement of innovative orthopaedic fixation systems and specializes in small fragment fracture fixation, holds numerous patents within the field. It is headquartered in Valencia, CA with offices in Walpole, MA and Sweden.

SOURCE TriMed, Inc.
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